The Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) signed a key ecosystem restoration report April 8, 2020, that allows Congress to consider the project for future authorization.
Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), signed the Chief of Engineers Report for the Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Project (LRWRP). The project, part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), is the culmination of a planning effort that the Jacksonville District began in 2015 with the support of the South Florida Water Management District and other representatives from federal, state, local, and tribal governments, stakeholder groups, and the public at large.
“Moving the Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Project to the next stage is a big step forward for the people of Palm Beach and Martin Counties,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, Jacksonville District commander. “This project will help restore natural water delivery, promote health and function in the wetland and upland areas, and increase the amount and quality of habitat that local wildlife rely on for survival.”
The project area includes approximately 753 square miles located in central and northern Palm Beach County and southern Martin County. Within that area are Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Pal Mar East/Cypress Creek, Dupuis Wildlife and Environmental Management Areas, J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area, Grassy Waters Preserve, Loxahatchee Slough, the last remaining riverine cypress stands in Southeast Florida in the Loxahatchee River, and the Loxahatchee River Estuary.
“This is an exciting time to be part of the Jacksonville District,” said Kelly. “We are seeing movement on multiple projects that we and our partners have been working on for many years, and milestones like the signing of the Chief’s Report for a crucial project like the Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Project is a testament to the strong relationships we’ve maintained with our stakeholders through the long planning process.”
The Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Project Chief’s Report will undergo additional review by the Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and the Office of Management and Budget. It will be formally transmitted to Congress upon completion of those reviews.
Read the Chief of Engineers Report for the Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Project: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/14061
For more information on ecosystem restoration efforts in south Florida, visit the Jacksonville District website at www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Ecosystem-Restoration/.